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Crimes by the LTTE do not justify alleged crimes by the Govt. – Macrae

Crimes by the LTTE do not justify alleged crimes by the Govt. – Macrae

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Published by: Thavam on Nov 18, 2013
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By Jayantha Sri Nissanka and Sulochana Ramiah Mohan-
 The controversial Channel 4 director of the documentary, No Fire one! "illin# Fields of Sri $anka, Callum Macrae, is in Sri $anka to cover the Common%ealth &eads of 'overnment Meetin# (C&)'M*+ Seakin# to Ceylon Today, the father of t%o children %ho is haily married, said he had visited the country t%o years a#o, havin# arrived here under cover, and %ent on to say that Sri $anka is a eautiful country %ith lovely eole+ &e ho%ever said, he and his C4 team have had to ut u %ith a .tou#h time/ durin# their stay in the country+ 01certs! 2! 3id you meet resident Ra5aaksa6 7! No, 8 did not meet him, ut my collea#ue, Jonathan Miller, met him+ 2! 9as anythin# imortant discussed6 7! Not very much+ 8 %as not there ut somethin# on the lines that Jonathan had asked the resident! .7re you %orried aout the accusations of you ein# resonsile for alle#ed %ar crimes:/ and the resident had relied .No, 8 am not %orried aout anythin#+/ 2! 9ould you like to meet him6 7! )f course, 8 %ould e very hay to meet him+ 8 have some ;uestions 8 %ould very much like to ask him+ 2! 8s it in your a#enda to take resident Ra5aaksa to the 9ar Crimes Triunal6 7! 8 have only a 5ournalistic a#enda+ My 5o is to tell the truth and do an investi#ation on %hat had haened+ 8 think it/s imortant for eole to understand the reason 8 %as asked to roduce my first film %as ecause 8 had made a numer of films on %ar crimes, alle#ations of %ar crimes and on the unethical ehaviour of leaders of countries+ eole ask me over and over a#ain, %hy don/t 8 roduce films aout 8ra; and of %hat Britain and the <S did in 8ra;6 8 have made more films aout 8ra; and more films aout the alle#ations a#ainst the coalition forces in 8ra; than the films 8 have made on Sri $anka+ There is ma5or in;uiry resently #oin# on, on alle#ations of 8ra;i risoners ein# e1ecuted y the British forces, and it %as 8 %ho set the tone for the investi#ation+
 2! But %hy didn/t you roduce a documentary on the $TT0 and the atrocities they had committed6 7! 8 have addressed the crimes of the $TT0 as %ell as the crimes of the Sri $ankan 'overnment+ 9hat 8 did %as ased on the last four months of the %ar+ 8n that documentary, 8 have e1amined all the events that took lace durin# the %ar+ 8 have referred to the $TT0 militants and that they %ere #uilty of havin# suicide omers, and usin# child soldiers+ There %ere foota#e of $TT0 suicide omin# of the innocent civilians and it sho%ed ho% they attemted to kill oliticians, %hen a suicide omer e1loded a om durin# a marathon race %here a olitician %as resent, and many civilians %ere killed+ The reality is that oth sides committed crimes, ut the vast numer of civilians died in the hands of the #overnment forces and that is the simle fact+ The #overnment cannot hide itself ehind the crimes of the $TT0, and the crimes of the Ti#ers do not 5ustify the #overnment/s crimes+ 8 never disuted the atrocities of the $TT0, ut the #overnment claims to e democratic, and claims to uhold international la%s at a hi#her level+ Because of my investi#ation, 8 have no% een randed as an $TT0 symathi=er+ That is very dan#erous+ 8 cannot %alk on the streets of Colomo on my o%n+ 8t/s not safe+ 8 did not feel safe on the train 5ourney to "ilinochchi that %as th%arted+ 8t/s not the eoles/ fault+ They elieve %hat they have een told, %hich is a i# lie+ 2! &o%ever, your films focus on the Sri $ankan 7rmy than of the $TT0 atrocities+ &o% can you say you have a alanced vie% of the crimes committed y oth arties6 7! 9e are dealin# %ith a #overnment that claims to e a democratic #overnment uholdin# international humanitarian la%s, and %hich has een held resonsile for the deaths of the ma5ority of civilians+ 8 don/t %ant to #et into an ar#ument on the morality of .killin# this many  eole or that many eole+/ But it/s certainly the case in terms of the secific crimes the Sri $ankan 'overnment has to address %hich are on a hu#e scale> it/s not #ood enou#h to say that the $TT0 %as %orse than the #overnment+ 2! 3oes $TT0 diasora ay you to roduce these documentaries6 7! Channel 4 has an oen account+ 8t/s a Trust, and a clear or#ani=ation+ 7nyone can insect it+ 9hen %e made the first film %e revealed the source of fundin# for the film %hich %as entirely from foundations and charitale institutions+ There %as not a enny that %e received from the Tamils+ Besides that, can anyone ima#ine %hy the $TT0 %ould ay me %hen 8 call them %ar criminals %ho resort to suicide omin#s, shootin# do%n their o%n eole, and reventin#  eole from leavin# the No Fire one6 8t/s asurd? 2! But did you make use of the situation to earn i# money from the Tamil diasora6 7! 8 %ould have een very %ell off than 8 am, had 8 done that+ 7sk my %ife ho% much 8 made
out of this film+ She/s furious %ith me+ She kees on askin#, %hy are you doin# this6 8 am a successful film director+ 8 can make more money y roducin# other films+ 8t %ould e more fun and less dan#erous+ 7s a 5ournalist, 8 have investi#ated and found the truth, and 8 am ein# told that the truth is a lie, the evidence is lies, and 8 am an $TT0 mercenary+ 8 don/t have to defend 5ournalism that %ay+ 2! )ne of the ethics in 5ournalism is that you can %rite@roduce ut you don/t camai#n for someone+ Aou came u %ith four documentaries and you are hoin# to roduce the ne1t one+ Aou have een travellin# e1tensively to reveal %hat you have done+ 8s that ri#ht6 7! 8 am not lannin# on makin# another documentary as yet+ 8f there is more evidence for another film, then 8 %ould make one+ No Fire one is a feature documentary+ The first t%o - "illin# Fields of Sri $anka, are T documentaries desi#ned for television+ &o%ever, the feature documentary is little different from the T version+ 8t is one-and-a-half hours lon# and desi#ned to e sho%n at theaters as a movie+ So it/s the standard version and any roducer %ho has films such as these #o on tours to screen them+ 2! 8f your documentaries contain authentic video clis, %hy hasn/t the international community taken any action a#ainst Sri $anka6 8n our vie%, that clearly sho%s your clis are not authentic+ 7! 8t/s not 5ust %e, %ho have to rove they are authentic+ 9e for%arded some of the foota#es to an indeendent forensic analysis comany and they analy=ed the foota#es+ 9hen %e #et foota#e, %e don/t assume they are #enuine till they are roved to e so, after a series of analyses+ 2! 9ho analy=ed the foota#e to verify their authenticity6 7! 7 British comany> and they don/t %ant to e named+ 9e aid them for their investi#ations+ The foota#e %as su5ect to di#ital ima#e analysis to ascertain if there %as any evidence of maniulation+ They looked for any editin# that could have een done, and the direction of the li#ht to state the tye of hones from %hich the ima#es %ere recorded+ Forensic atholo#ists also studied the %ay the odies had fallen, and the manner in %hich lood had een slattered to check if the ima#es %ere faked+ But they %ere #enuine, and the clis %ere not .erformed/  y actors+ 7lso, the <nited Nations too used different e1erts to analy=e the foota#e+ They %ere tested, asolutely to the very limits one could conduct such tests+ These are #enuine, and 8 am confident of %hat 8 have roduced+ Aou may also kno% that after the %ar came to an end, the <N &uman Ri#hts Council assed a resolution, con#ratulatin# Sri $anka for finishin# the %ar+ But %hen evidence of crimes started to emer#e, they started to ask ;uestions+ The anel of e1erts aointed y Ban-"i moon sa% the foota#e and reorted to the <N that there is credile evidence+ These are the develoments that rou#ht aout a chan#e+ The <N revie%ed the T reort %hich said the evidence in the film %as si#nificant and needs to e rou#ht to the attention of the memer states+ 0ven Navi illay asked for a detail reort,

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